We all want success in some form or fashion and easy success without sweat equity.
How often have we looked at our neighbours and envy their success and wish we could possibly have the same.
We dream of having all the time in the world to do want we want, of never working again, of spending our days on a tropical island surfing and having a great time.
We dream of never worrying about money again and of freedom of all things that feel like shackles in our life.
And while we dream, we know to ourselves, from the bottom of our hearts, that we are not living the life we were meant to, that we’re not living to our full potential, or that our relationships have stagnated.
We know from the depths of our souls that we’re living an average life, and feel to our very essence, to our innermost cores, that we have failed.
More to our detriment, we fail to realize we are focusing on things that do not empower us. We do not see the decisions, attitudes, behaviours and habits that our neighbours use within their control to create the life they want.
We do not see the time, effort, money and network that goes into creating a successful life, and fail to realize to our own selves that our success depends so much on specific attitudes, beliefs and actions.
But what you need to do is to become aware of all those things that contribute to your success.
Here are 4 things you can do or change to drastically improve your chances of success.
Planning shows you the way to the end, taking action will take you there
Do you want the traditional big house, car, trophy wife/husband? Success in your career or to expand your current life? Something more? To contribute to an improvement in your community, in your profession or country?
The first key thing with success is knowing what success looks like for you.
If you don’t know what success is to you, you will not know where you are headed. If you don’t know where you’re headed, you will not know what actions you need to take to get there. Having clearly defined success goals will guide you on your success journey.
Then, after you have defined what your success looks like, take the time to research what others have done to get there. Chances are someone would have what you want already or would have failed in trying to get there. Find out from people, books, courses, seminars, on how to get to the goal.
But don’t just stop at researching and planning the way to the end. Most people do this. What most don’t do is to take the first action and then repeat by taking other actions until they get to the end. Most people don’t start their journey or they don’t persist in the journey.
Will you fail along the way? Most likely you will because those who take action increases their chances of failing. But, those who take action also increase their chances of achieving their success.
When you fail, note what led to the failure, come up with a solution and execute.
Decide today to take action on your dreams.
Question your actions and beliefs
If you have not had much success, question whether you have taken the necessary actions that will get you the success you desire.
How would you know if you have taken the actions? Track the actions – when you executed and how the action was executed. Track the outcomes.
If you have not taken action and you know it to be the case, ask yourself why. Determine what you were thinking to not follow through on the action. Question those thoughts and assess the underlying beliefs that made you have those self-limiting thoughts.
Then ask yourself what would happen if you changed your beliefs and your thoughts. Ask, what if you took the action you needed to take. What would you really lose? What would you gain?
Change your perspective. Look at yourself as though you were an outsider looking at an individual who resembles you. What does this outsider see? Does she see a brave person taking action and going after his dreams? Or would she see the dreamer and the planner who are afraid of temporary discomfort to change her life for the better?
Most people don’t take action because they are afraid. They are afraid of how their lives will change and of who they may become in the process. You will need to pause at several points in your journey to challenge your beliefs, thoughts and actions to get yourself to move along the path to your success.
Invest time, don’t spend it
Whatever your idea of success, invest your time.
The average person consumes their time on activities that distract from taking action on what they really want. They watch TV and movies, spend too much time on social media or social events, or would rather eat than take action.
But, what if you invested your time on a small action? What would that action really cost you? Maybe some time and some money.
What if you took that small action several times or repeatedly take different small actions. What they result in will compound in time. Their outcomes are banked and compounded.
Also, invest your time in actions that help you to create experiences and projects that will create a change in your thinking. Challenging self-limiting beliefs and thoughts are well worth the time. When done early on, your new beliefs and thoughts will help you to invest the time in taking action.
Taking action may involve learning a new skill. A success journey may involve learning several new skills. Invest your time in this learning. Once you learn the skill or as you are learning it you can take actions to move you closer to your success.
Taking action may involve interactions with people who could help you or support you. So, invest your time into relationships that add to, not subtract, the value in those relationships.
Say yes to all opportunities aligned to your success
In the previous section, I asked, “What if you invested your time on a small action? What would that action really cost you?”
The gift of time comes from you having it or making it…and it comes with a decision you will repeatedly face…an opportunity cost. What would it cost you if you decide to follow through with the action?
Most people would rather the temporary short-term gains that prevent us from taking the actions for long-term gains, much like eating ice-cream every day versus refraining to lose weight in the long-term.
Remember the time you have now is an opportunity to act.
But time may not always be the only opportunity.
Opportunities may come your way in various forms. You may get invited to a seminar or you may have to pay for one, see an advertisement for a course to learn a new skill, or you may get volunteered for an event aligned with investing in relationships.
Don’t say no to those opportunities because you are afraid. Say yes to all aligned opportunities that come your way. Say yes more often than no. Track how many times you say yes rather than no.
Each opportunity will require you to come outside of your comfort zone. Each one will require you to come up with a solution to the challenge the opportunity presents to you. So, accept the challenge and say yes because when you come up with solutions to the challenge you have another opportunity to change your perspective and to take control of your path of success.
Also, when you act on a solution you open up your sphere of people. You align yourself with people who may have had your success a long time ago. You open the opportunity to interactions with people who could change your perspective.
Your success is within your control
Imagine if you invest your time and take the necessary actions to get you to your success, that you act in spite of your fears, where would you be one year, three years or five years from now?
Hold that dream for a minute in your mind and imagine the freedom you have to do want truly matters to you.
Remember: your success is within your control if you take action, question your actions and beliefs, invest your time and say yes to opportunities.
You can be brave, take action, and progress in your journey to your success because bravery and taking action is all within your control.